Petition of 111,000 against Electronic Warfare Zone in Olympics to Forest Service

The Care 2 petition begun by Aaron Viles has reached more than 111,000 signatures of people worldwide who OPPOSE the use of our Olympic National Forest for the Northwest Olympic Electronic Warfare Training Range proposed by the U.S. Navy. The petition states: The Olympic National Park and National Forest, on the Western edge of Washington state are home to ancient temperate rain forests, snow-capped mountains, beautiful meadows, and a number of endangered and threatened species. Unfortunately, if the Navy gets their way, these wilderness areas will be assaulted by 118 of the world’s loudest jets, flying thousands of training exercises, hundreds of days a year, as low as 1,200 feet above the ground.

Olympic National Park is home to the “quietest spot in America” and famous for its peace and tranquility. Take action to keep the Navy from destroying this wonderful area with their ear-splitting jets! 

In addition, the Navy will be using these war games to test electromagnetic weaponry, which has some experts raising significant concerns about potential health impacts to birds, amphibians, and humans, as well.The issue came to light after a notice was found in the Forks Post Office announcing a decision by the Forest Service to allow the Navy to use their roads for this purpose. What followed was an article in the Forks Forum, then a meeting in Forks with the Navy and Forest Service, and then an outcry of total outrage and opposition to the use of our Olympic National Forest and Park as an electronic warfare training range for the extremely loud Growler jets from Whidbey Island NAS. This led to more than 3000 letters in OPPOSITION. http://protectolympicpeninsula.org/impacts/organizational-letters A number of opposition groups formed: Protect Olympic Peninsula (Facebook page and website) now with 4681 people in the communitySTOP – Save The Olympic Peninsula — Clallam County basedWest Coast Action Alliance — research website In addition, Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER), the opposition group against the Growler jets using their Outlying Field (OLF) runway, has joined in solidarity with those on the peninsula. These are the jets that are being used for this training and which will fly from Whidbey Island NAS across all the North Olympic towns and tribal lands in order to reach the proposed training area. The Forest Service’s Comment Period was extended twice and ended December 2014. Months passed while the Forest Service was to be reading and responding to these 3000+ letters, which they required to be “substantive.” Then in May, they inexplicably announced that they had chosen to outsource to an outside contractor this important work of reading and evaluating the very serious concerns.  The final decision on use of our Olympic Forest Service roads for the Northwest Olympic Electronic Warfare Training Range is expected in early 2016.  Many articles and videos about this issue are found on the websites noted above. One of the main articles:http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/28009-documents-show-navy-s-electromagnetic-warfare-training-would-harm-humans-and-wildlifeLetter sent to Reta Leford 9/21/15: Dear Reta, I will be bringing the Care 2 petition to your office in Olympia on Wednesday, September 23, at 3:30 pm. This petition has more than 111,000 signatures spanning the globe. I have contacted your office multiple times and was informed by your assistant, Grace, that you would not like to make an appointment to receive this important document. However, I would like to ask that you reconsider and make time in your schedule for those of us who are traveling more than two hours to your headquarters. There are five of us who would like to personally deliver the petition to you from 3:45-4:00PM, this Wednesday, September 23rd.  Because I was not permitted to speak with you personally on any of the past occasions, I’m asking you now to please respond. We, too, care for the forests and the preservation of the beauty that is Olympic National Forest. As the taxpayers who fund the Forest Service, and on behalf of the 111,000+ people whom you serve, we feel we have more than enough grounds to meet with you.This petition is directed to: Dean Millet, District Ranger, Olympic National Forest; yourself, Reta Laford, Forest Supervisor, Olympic National Forest; Jim Peña, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester; Thomas L. Tidwell, Chief; Robert Bonnie, Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, USDA. We ask that upon receiving this petition you notify them immediately. Thank you for your consideration with these very important matters. I hope to meet you Wednesday and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Annalisa Barelli Protect Olympic Peninsula
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